Growth Report 1: Choffin Prepares Adults for Medical Fields

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – In 10 months or less, adult students at Choffin Career and Technical Center are trained for in-demand, high-paying careers in three medical-related occupations.

Adult learners can choose from dental assisting, practical nursing and surgical technology. And employment growth in northeastern Ohio, as well as high median wages for all three of these occupations, suggest good earning potential for graduates, according to Rhonda Kempe, student services/marketing at Choffin.

Kemp cites statistics from the Ohio Department of Higher Education that show demand in the region for medical-related occupations is expected to grow 5% faster than the average for other occupations.

This demand results from several factors, according to state findings. Among them are the aging population, an increased awareness in the importance of oral health and preventive care, the growing number of people with dental and health care insurance and an increase in those living with chronic health conditions.

Choffin’s medical-related training programs provide students with both hands-on learning experiences in classrooms and labs, as well as off-site clinical practice, Kempe says.

The dental assisting pathway is well established with 30-plus years of instruction, leading to aggressive recruiting of graduates for dental offices, medical and diagnostic laboratories, hospitals and clinics.

For 70 years, the practical nursing program has trained future nurses in the region and graduates are sought by hospitals, nursing homes, home health care agencies, assisted living facilities, clinics, schools and correctional facilities.

Kempe says the median wage for practical nursing occupations in northeastern Ohio is $45,310.

Surgical technology has been offered for more than 30 years through Choffin, leading graduates to employment at hospitals, surgical centers and surgical tech training centers.

Surgical tech grads also have a direct pathway to obtaining an associate degree at Kent State University and St. Francis University.

Pictured at top: Matt Hamley, surgical tech instructor at Choffin Career and Technical Center, works with Miah Hudson and Anyssa Howell, surgical tech students.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.